The Police on Monday morning, December 18, attacked protesters on a peaceful protest against the Rochas Okorocha government in Imo state.
The protest, tagged “Occupy Owerri”, was organised as a peaceful rally against “bad governance” and was scheduled to run from Monday till Sunday, December 24 as an expression of discontent with Governor Okorocha’s policies.
According to Premium Times, the protest, tagged ‘Occupy Owerri’, which is expected to last for one week, was called by Imo People’s Action for Democracy (IPAD), against the policies of the Governor Okorocha administration.
The group had written to the police and the State Security Service for security during the rally.
While the SSS gave approval for the rally to hold, the police asked that the rally be shifted till after the yuletide period, but the group refused, arguing that the police have no right to stop it from protesting.
Speaking to a correspondent on Monday, the coordinator of the group, Aku Obidinma, said police fired tear gas at the protesters, beat them up and also confiscated their placards as they began the peaceful protest.
Governor Okorocha has been in the centre of public storms in recent months for a host of unpopular decisions that have earned him scorn.
In October, he unveiled a bronze-cast statue of South African president, Jacob Zuma, before unveiling another one for Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Many Nigerians condemned the erection of the statues especially as there are several workers in the state who are still owed salaries and other entitlement.
Another reason why the protesters marched against the governor on Monday is his recent decision to appoint his sister, Ogechi Ololo, as the state’s first Commissioner of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment.